7 Bad Habits That Stop You From Succeeding

Kumar Gauraw

In a local business development association, I spoke about the importance of education, the importance of positive association, and how the habit of reading can play a vital role in our success in any endeavor.

Bad Habits That Stop You From Succeeding

That brought me to the idea of… “What are some of the bad habits that can simply do the opposite?” What are some of the habits that people have which stops them from their true potential, even though they may be talented?

We are what we repeatedly do. Therefore, excellence is not an act. It is a habit. —Aristotle [tweet this]

We can cultivate some good habits and become better, or we can cultivate some bad ones and become bitter. I have come to the conclusion that we all have some habits, whether we have developed them consciously or subconsciously. We all act and think in certain ways based on our thinking habits.

The interesting thing is, however, when our habits aren’t helping, they are hurting us. In this post, I would like to bring to your attention 7 such habits that can absolutely stop you from achieving success in almost any endeavor. On the contrary, if you overcome these, you will most certainly begin to get closer and closer to the achievement of your dreams and goals:

1. Searching For Faults In Others

Many of us have a habit of always looking on the darker side of everything and everyone we come across. I used to have friends who would always find something wrong with almost everything; to the extent that if you give them a donut, they won’t take it because it has a hole in it.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. —Martin Luther King Jr. [tweet this]

The world isn’t perfect and there are no perfect people. If we keep finding fault, we can’t make friends, we can’t have good relationships, we can’t have a successful career or business. People with a negative frame of mind aren’t very good role models of success.

Being positive, encouraging others, being a person of faith, in self and in others, can do more good than you can think. This habit of looking at everything from the critical point of view is absolutely toxic for our mental health.

2. Having That “I Know It All” Mentality

Among all the destructive habits, this one is an absolute killer. The reason this is the most dangerous habit, is because nobody wants to be around a ‘Mr. Know It All.” I personally found myself running away from my friends and elders who I perceived as “Mr. Know It All” person.

The day you think you know it all, is the day you stop growing. [tweet this]


I have not forgotten that advice and I never want to be the one who cannot be taught. I want to be a person who is willing to learn, willing to change, and willing to grow because that is the best example I can set for my children and others who I mentor.

3. Not Having Written Dreams And Goals

This is one habit that comes out of complacency. When you are happy with what you have, you are complacent and you don’t have a reason to do anything with focus. It is also possible that you don’t have clarity on what you want to do with your life and therefore, you don’t have clearly defined dreams and goals for yourself.

This, undoubtedly a dangerous situation to be in. However, you can get out of this situation with the help of a mentor. If you realize this is a problem and you seek mentorship, you can find your passion.

But the problem comes when we know what we want but we don’t focus on it. The challenge is deeper when we are not willing to write our dreams and goals and we have a habit of postponing things for tomorrow. This habit is what I am talking about. This can be a major roadblock between you and your success. If you don’t challenge your complacency and get rid of this dangerous habit, it has the power to stop you from succeeding.

4. Believing In Everyone Except Self

This habit is usually caused by a low self-esteem. Not believing in your own God given talents and abilities and only believing what other people tell you to do, can steal your dream.

In fact, there is absolutely no world class achiever who was not criticized and ridiculed by other people. If they believed in the opinions of other people, they would have given up on their dreams a long time ago. But they didn't believe in what others asked them to believe in. Instead, they chose to believe in themselves and made a difference in the world!

Crazy people write history and rest, read about it.  [tweet this]


Unfold your own tale and bring it to life. You have everything you need to become what you are capable of becoming. Incredible change happens when you decide to take control of your thoughts, your emotions, your passions and your life.

Refuse to accept other people’s opinions. Do not let others do your thinking, talking, and deciding for you. Learn to respect and use your own ideas and instincts to write your story.

5. Waiting For The Perfect Moment To Act

A lot of people wait for that perfect moment to take action. The myth is so age old but powerful enough to stop many people from taking action. So many people wait around for the stars to align to act on their dreams.

You need to realize that moments aren’t perfect. They are what you and I make them.  The perfect moment, the perfect opportunity, the perfect state of being, etc. are myths. They do not exist.

Faith is taking the first step even when you can't see the whole staircase. —Martin Luther King Jr.  [tweet this]

Your ability to reach your true potential is directly related to your willingness to act in the face of imperfections. You and I may succeed not by finding a perfect moment for our actions, but by learning to act in NOW!

6. Not Having Passion For Work

Many people I know absolutely hate their work. They ridicule their company, their bosses, their jobs, their city, their state and even their country. They are more like the people who criticize everything with an extra flavor, that they still do things which they hate anyway.

For example, if they hate their jobs so much, shouldn’t they quit that job and do what they love? But they won’t do that. They need the money that comes with it, but they won’t have the gratitude for the job and the company.

This is a dangerous situation and it is just a bad habit. Zig Ziglar did a phenomenal talk about this subject in one of his famous talks and I want you to check it out. You will exactly understand how bad and toxic this habit is for your success.

7. Living In Fear Of Failure

One of my associates defined FEAR as False Evidence Appearing Real. That got me thinking.

Isn’t that really true? How many times did you find yourself fearful of things or situations or incidents that never happened? How many times you found yourself worried about things that never even real?

Can you imagine how much damage fear does to our mindset when we are engrossed in thoughts that feed it? Negative thoughts feed fear. Negative thinking breeds worries and enlarges fear. Fear hurts our self-esteem and paralyzes our ability to think right, make right decisions or be productive.

Let go of your worries and fears, of your rage and jealousy. Let go of your need to always be right. When you start being grateful for all the wonderful blessings life has showered upon you so far and things and people in your life everyday, life can be wonderfully fulfilling and you will receive even more success and abundance every single day.

Questions: What are some of the bad habits that you have seen stopping people from achieving their true potential? Do you think complacency plays a major role in cultivating some of these bad habits?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section by clicking here. Thank you kindly!

Kumar Gauraw

Posts Twitter Facebook

Kumar Gauraw is a Personal Branding & Social Media strategist helping entrepreneurs and skilled professionals achieve personal and professional success by developing leadership and leveraging the power of the Internet, Blogging and Social Media.

13 Awesome Thoughts So Far, Add Yours Now...

  1. Hi Kumar, They're all great points. I resonate with the first point, that seeking the bad in others is toxic, not to mention a waste of time and energy. Two quotes come to mind immediately on this topic:

    When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring it out in ourselves.   ~William Arthur Ward

    Every man should keep a fair-sized cemetery in which to bury the faults of his friends.   ~Henry Ward Beecher

    I think that always looking for the good, seeking the best… is the most important thing we can do in all of our relationships. This mindset is also affirming. I 'think' you are an excellent friend; and moreover, I KNOW it. I also love any opportunity to see another Zig video. He had such a simple way of looking at things. Thanks very much! 🙂

    • Bill,

      Thank you for sharing these quotes. These perfectly support the point. Seeking bad in others, always looking at things from critical point of view is nothing but toxic for our own mind and health. Regards,


  2. Charmant

    Dear Kumar,
    Your article comes in the right time. Waiting For The Perfect Moment To Act is a weapon the devil always use to affect people to act also in fear. I have to correct this habit and act NOW.Blessings.@Bill, this quote “When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring it out in ourselves.By William Arthur Ward is also a great lesson especially when you have mentors.Thanks for sharing

    • Hello Chamant,

      Thank you for your kind words of appreciation and taking time to share your thoughts here. Glad you enjoyed the post.



  3. Written superbly. You have pointed all top bad habits which stand as barrier in achieving our dreams. I liked 4th point the most

  4. Kumar,

    You make some great points in your post. Specifically the points about people’s own fear and negativity holding them back.

    It is not always easy to have the confidence that you have for others for yourself, but I think it is essential for success

    Too many people are scared of failure, looking bad or wait too long dithering for the “right time” that they completely miss the boat and let golden opportunities slip through their fingers.

    While planning is very important, it is also essential to get out there and (like Nike ads say) Just DO It!

  5. Very very true, Kumar! I agree with you on all of these bad habits. Sometimes wonder, how much it could be achieved if people drop these habits!

  6. Mind Blowing post! So true, all points are great.

    Thanks for sharing .. 🙂

  7. Sean Van Zant

    Great post! I would also like to add one more acronym of FEAR just in case you wanted to be reminded of ir: F-Fantisized E-Experiences A-Appearing R-Real.


    • Hello Sean,

      I love the new ACRONYM. I didn’t know that one and it is certainly a very good one. Thank you for sharing.



  8. Ime A Ibanga

    Rethinking and refocusing on one’s actionable goals!

    • O Wow! So many comments in one go? 🙂

      Thank you for sharing your brief thoughts against many many posts here. I hope you are doing AWESOME !



Please Note: My goal is to host interesting conversations with caring, honest, and respectful people. Therefore, I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic.